The test system was a Compaq Presario PC model SR5010NX that was picked up from Best Buy for just $199.99 in June of 2007. This system came loaded with Windows Vista Home Basic and needed a boost in performance as the 512MB of single-channel DDR2 667MHz memory installed inside left the user wanting more. This is the perfect scenario for the Super Talent Exelerator and if it is to improve system performance this system could easily be improved on.
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Futuremark PCMark 05 showed that using the 2GB Super Talent Exelerator on our Compaq Presario SR5010NX test system improved overall system performance by 17 points, which is less than a percent difference. When we installed another 512MB DDR2 module in the test system the system performance was found to be just slightly lower with ReadyBoost than with nothing done at all. We ran more benchmarks, but all had the same outcome as this and were not included as the data didn’t show anything that Futuremark PCMark 05 hasn’t already shown.
When Windows Vista first came out LR took a look at ReadyBoost and gaming performance using external USB Flash drives and our inital findings were that ReadyBoost seems to help on systems with 512MB of system memory or less. That still holds true today, but the difference is so small it makes it hard to suggest the Super Talent Exelerator due to the cost versus performance factor. The 2GB Super Talent Exelerator was launched with the expectation of being a $25 part, but now that Flash memory prices have been increasing the price on the Exelerator has gone up to $35 plus shipping. Right now a consumer with a 512MB system can go out and purchase a second 512MB memory module for less than the cost of the Super Talent Exelerator, which will hands down offer more performance and bang for the buck. Luckily for Super Talent, they also make DDR1, DDR2 and DDR3 memory modules, so one doesn’t have to look far for improved performance. For this particular system the best price versus performance improvement would be had by adding a 512MB Super Talent DDR2 667MHz memory module for $20.86. This would allow the system to run in dual-channel mode with twice as much memory. By doing this we showed a 7% performance increase, which is better than the less than 1% difference noted with the ReadyBoost drive.
On a different note Microsoft better have something up their sleeve when it comes to ReadyBoost as so far it’s been less than impressive. Rumor has it that Windows Vista SP1 will have some fixes for ReadyBoost and we hope these rumors hold true as numerous companies are marketing ReadyBoost drives. Super Talent has designed a great product that exceeds Microsoft’s specifications for ReadyBoost, but it seems that Windows Vista isn’t able to take full advantage of it.
Legit Bottom Line: With ReadyBoost not performing up to par and with fixes coming from Microsoft in SP1 it makes it impossible to suggest ReadyBoost to any of our readers regaurdless of the brand name. Stick to tried and true memory modules for improving system performance!